Have you ever met someone at a networking event, meeting or conference that seemed to look at you with dollar signs in their eyes?
Yeah, me too. And I don’t like it. In fact, it irritates me — on several levels.
First, it’s the fact that they are perpetuating the “bad reputation” that networking sometimes has — that it’s little more than a room full of people swapping cards and trying to sell everyone whatever they have. That is NOT networking — it is basically cold calling in person. Yuck!
Second, I dislike the fact that the person I’m talking to simply skips the whole “get to know you” part of a conversation and immediately jumps into reciting their “commercial” or their website copy to me. Wait a second! I’m a person — please treat me that way. I very well may be a member of your “target market”, but please don’t treat me like a target. Yuck again.
Third, it immediately makes me feel defensive and turned off. Not exactly making me receptive to your “sales pitch”, eh?
Instead, let’s think of relationships BEFORE the revenue. Get to know me, my needs, my interests, my business. Give me a chance to get to know you, your needs, your interests and your business. THEN, we can determine whether or not it makes sense for us to do business together. I’m not suggesting that we need to become best friends and godparents for each other’s children. Far from it. But ask a few questions, show a little interest and show me a bit of your personality as well.
It’s amazing what can happen after just a few minutes of REAL conversation.